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Park Slope

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Smoked Lagers Coming to Park Slope; Shake Shack's New Heat Lamps

Clinton Hill: The pizza place at 37 Washington will soon become a brick-oven pizza spot called Il Porto. [Clinton Hill Blog] East Village: The roasted shishito peppers at Jimmy’s 43 are so addictive they may drive you to try to “recreate this dish and drink a boatload of beer immediately.” Don't forget, they’re prepared on hot plates. [Eat for Victory/VV] Flatiron: Shake Shack’s fired up its heat lamps. [Eater] Flavor your coffee the old-fashioned way, with cardamom. At Gramercy Tavern, they're "serving pots of the complex, medium-bodied Yirgacheffe coffee from Ethiopia brewed with cinnamon, cardamom and orange.” [Mouthing Off/Food & Wine] Greenwich Village: Bellavitae’s new Neapolitan chef Raffaele Ronca is “exceptionally adept at deboning an entire Cornish hen.” [Bottomless Dish/Citysearch] Little Italy: Luigi DiPalo of DiPalo Dairy can recommend a pizza joint for every palate. [Gothamist] Park Slope: The new bar and snack spot on Seventh Avenue at 14th Street called Beer Table should be open and serving its "carefully curated selection of smoked lager, coriander-laced wheat beer and various obscure ales" by next Saturday. [NYT]

Skeletons Found in Washington Square Park

Greenwich Village: Renovations in Washington Square Park have uncovered human remains, and not for the first time in the park's history: The site used to be a graveyard for the poor. [Gothamist] Bedford-Stuyvesant: You all know cool little Brownstone Books in Stuy Heights, right? Well, it's going to take over the bookstore at BAM, too. Wowza. [Bed-Stuy Blog] Carroll Gardens: Some streets here will probably be reclassified as "narrow," rather than "wide," in order to impose new building-height limitations in these quaint parts. [Gowanus Lounge]

Novelist Joe Weisberg Unlocks the Mystery of ‘Ugli Fruit’ and Japanese Rice Triangles

Acclaimed author Joe Weisberg’s new novel, An Ordinary Spy, follows a CIA officer serving abroad in an undisclosed country. To preserve the anonymity of the country’s “very spicy” cuisine, the author redacted all references to specific ingredients in the text. Weisberg tells us that when he himself trained to be a CIA officer, he was taught to offer food — or “amenities” — to potential recruits and was graded on his ability to bring pastries to his instructor. Now that he no longer has access to Quantico’s all-you-can-eat buffet of ice creams and pies (he lives and writes in Park Slope and teaches in Jamaica Estates), we asked him how he satisfies his voracious appetite.

It’s Raining Cristal! Oh, Wait

Bay Ridge: The congregation of a pretty 108-year-old stone church here wants it torn down to make room for condos and a smaller house of faith, but preservationists and bloggers are trying to stop them. [RightInBayRidge] East Village: There's a super-deluxe penthouse atop the Bowery Hotel for rent for $30,000 a month. And whoever wrote this e-mail pitch apparently thinks it's okay for would-be renters to "piss Cristal off the balcony." [Curbed] Forest Hills: If you want nice local businesses like Laytner's to survive over skeevy stores, you have to shop local, instead of paying slightly less at the big chains. And here's the receipt to prove it. [Forest Hills 72]

Battery Pier: A Beautiful Disaster?

Battery Park: Are we weird because all the decrepit buildings the city wants to renovate — like this pier with a Victorian clock tower — we think are beautiful just as they are? Yeah, we're probably weird. [NYT via Curbed] Greenpoint: It was difficult to visit friends yesterday at this crazy-ass apartment because "the buzzards" weren't working. Well, it was a holiday, after all. [Newyorkshitty] Harlem: The Rev. Al Sharpton said yesterday that if MLK were to walk through Harlem today, he might not like what he saw. You mean his dream didn't include "the gentrification people"? [NYS]

Crosby Connection Will Rise Again; Los Dados the Last Breath of Meatpacking

Meatpacking District: With the wave of recent restaurant and nightlife closings, this area seems doomed, but Los Dados and long-delayed Merkato 55 might be able to salvage the hip destination, at least "on its western perimeter." [Zagat] Midtown East: Midtown Lunch finagled a sneak peak of Sakae Sushi’s conveyor belt and loses his cool: "If you’ve been to an outlet overseas, you may end up disappointed by the first US location which lacks some of the uniqueness or ‘cool’ factor of the locations in Asia. That’s because they felt a more subdued location would be more appealing to the clientele of Midtown.… Even when we get something cool, we get screwed." [Midtown Lunch] Park Slope: Lebanese Laila has closed, which doesn’t seem like a surprise since it was across the street from "the better, cheaper Olive Vine." [TONY] South Slope: The Fourth Avenue soup man has officially given up his spot in preparation for a new fancy condo. [Eat for Victory/VV] Upper West Side: China Fun is getting in on the New Year shill fest: Submit 500 words (or fewer) on why you want to celebrate the Year of the Rat at China Fun (info@chinafun-ny.com), and you could win a banquet for eight. West Village: After losing its lease, Italian sandwich destination Crosby Connection is moving from its hole-in-the-wall to an actual restaurant space a couple of blocks away. [The Gluttoness]

Beware the Castle Astoria

Astoria: People who live in this building get their very own Rapunzel balcony in their very own profoundly ugly castle. Call this style Middle Ages middlebrow. [OuterB via Curbed] Bushwick: This cancer survivor who runs the music joint Goodbye Blue Monday is a cool dude. But when he says you could toss a cat in any direction around here and hit a building owned by his landlord, we hope he doesn't mean that cute kitty he's holding in the photo. [amNY] Harlem: Guess which Manhattan neighborhood didn't make it onto this (clever but not quite accurate, given gentrification) "White Folks' Map of the NYC Subway System"? [Gothamist]

Tribecans Don't Want Buster's Garage Back; Drink and Win Big in Park Slope

Chelsea: The Bright Food Shop space will become a Qdoba, part of a chain of Mexican restaurants. [Crazy Fingers via Blog Chelsea] Midtown West: In honor of Rockefeller Center's 75th anniversary, the ice rink and the Rock Center Café are running a special that includes a two-course dinner and skate rental for $75. [Grub Street] Park Slope: Pacific Standard now offers a Frequent Drinker program, which awards points that can be traded for prizes like an All-Expenses-Paid Trip to Williamsburg including a subway ride and dinner at Fette Sau, a membership to BAM, or a Pacific Standard Tattoo. Yes, a real tattoo. [Gothamist] Tribeca: Residents are fighting the return of rowdy Texan haunt Buster's Garage. [Fight Busters via Eater] Upper East Side: Steven Salsberg and Erminia owner Nikola Camaj are opening a "socially and environmentally" correct wine bar on Monday in the former DT UT space. [Restaurant Girl]

A Cappella, Applebee's Change the Face of Astoria

Astoria: This blogger doesn't know which new arrival to the neighborhood is worse: the Broadway chorus-boy gays or the Applebee's. [Manhattan Offender] Bay Ridge: They're gonna move the ugly-ass Gowanus Expressway onto a sleek cable suspension roadway and fill in the old area with emerald parkland! Well, wouldn't it be pretty to think so. [NYDN Cobble Hill: A developer wants to build townhouses on the empty land surrounding the pretty old Lamm Building on Amity Street, but locals object because the new houses wouldn't face the street and leave room for backyards like all the other houses. Tense. [Brownstoner]

The East Village Has Gone Euro. No, Really.

Coney Island: Here, 105 years ago today, Thomas Edison electrocuted a rogue elephant to prove the power of direct (versus alternating) current. He even filmed it. And where was PETA? [Gothamist] East Village: Local biz owners are banding together against chain stores. Meanwhile, the trendy hood's so overrun with Euros that stores have started accepting, uh, euros. [Vanishing New York] Long Island City: Bollywood comes to LIC, hip-hop style, in this cute video. Shakalaka, baby! [LICNYC]

The Bike Shelters Are Closing In

Bushwick: Recently, a bunch of so-called freegans built a mountain of thrown-out breadstuffs here to protest food waste. Yum. [WildGreenYonder] Long Island City: The long-anticipated bike racks with sleek shelters have arrived, absolutely essential for … uh … not burning your butt on a sun-soaked banana seat? [Curbed] Lower East Side: The Streit family wanted $25 mil for their Rivington Street matzo factory (which'll likely go condo), but it looks like they may get more. That's a fact we'll leave unleavened by humor. [Vanishing New York]

Still Waiting on ’beca Restaurant; New French Place at Radisson Martinique

Chelsea: Order your Gallete des Rois, the traditional Epiphany cake, now from Gavroche. [Bottomless Dish/Citysearch] Midtown West: Stavros Aktipis will open a new French restaurant in the Radisson Martinique hotel called Martinique Bistro. [NYS] Park Slope: Online buzz builds for Pepe’s Pizza and Panini, and now it’s getting the message-board treatment. [Brooklynian via Brownstoner] Tribeca: The Duane Street Hotel is open, but the ’beca Restaurant’s doors will be closed for at least the next couple of weeks. [NewYorkology/Grub Street]

Find French Onion Soup in Manhattan; A Co-op for Fort Greene?

Bay Ridge: A VFW post has been fined by the Department of Health because its ice machine constituted a need for “food protection certification.” [The Brooklyn Paper] Cobble Hill: Now that the deli and the TV repair shop are gone, we can dream of the G&D Television Wine Bar. [Gowanus Lounge] Forest Hills: A new development threatens restaurant culture, as for-rent signs specify “NO FOOD.” The horror! [Queens Central] Fort Greene: Plans are afoot for a food co-op. Does anything else scream gentrification louder? [The Brooklyn Paper] Manhattan: Look for delicious French onion soup at Pastis, Landmarc, and Rue 57, among others. [Gridskipper] Midtown East: Fireside at the Omni Berkshire Hotel is serving Chuao hot chocolate for $7 a cup — includes whipped cream, crumbled graham crackers, and marshmallows. [Gothamist] Park Slope: Tempo Presto is officially closed. [OTBKB]

Peter Hoffman Served a Rubber Band to His Mentor; Bloomberg to the Veggie Rescue in Harlem

Astoria: La Flor de Puebla on Astoria Boulevard between Steinway and 38th Street makes a mean carnitas taco. [Joey in Astoria] East Village: Peter Hoffman of Back Forty (and Savoy) reveals to Frank Bruni that he "once served a watercress salad to Richard Olney, my mentor and culinary hero, only to discover upon going to his table to see how he liked it that we had also served him a rubber band." [Diner's Journal/NYT] Harlem: Only 3 percent of bodegas in the nabe carry leafy green vegetables, so Mayor Bloomberg's coming to the rescue. No wonder Mizrahi loves him. [NYS via Uptown Flavor] Park Slope: The end of Donuts Coffee Shop on Fifth Avenue is near; Associated Supermarket is about to swallow up the landmark diner. [The Gowanus Lounge] West Village: It's a Q&A kind of day: Centro Vinoteca and newly anointed Gusto chef Anne Burrell says her trademark "cowgirl skirts are a good luck charm when we do Iron Chef … I figure if all the old ladies in Italy wear dresses in the kitchen, why can't I wear a skirt in NYC?" Though she may not have seen our kitchen fashions for the preening chef. [Restaurant Girl] Gusto is also hosting a Feast of the Seven Fishes on Christmas Eve, which includes this recipe for zuppa di pesce. [Eat for Victory/VV]

Trust Carroll Gardens, for the Rest of Your Life

Carroll Gardens: Locals are pissed off that Carroll Park is so understaffed that nobody's around to haul away old mattresses. Hey, locals: You could do it. Either that or keep on looking at old mattresses in your park. [Gowanus Lounge] Greenpoint: Santa was spotted here in a butcher's apron, smoking a cigarette, with his wife nearby, waiting for kielbasa (not Santa's, you perv!). Also, people are fornicating in the shadow of the onion-domed sewage-treatment plant. (In this weather!?) [Newyorkshitty] Harlem: A real-estate investor just broke the record for a property in the hood by paying $6.6 mil condo at Central Park North. But they may soon be topped by a triplex in the same building, on the block for $8.5 mil, that Esquire just named the "Ultimate Bachelor Pad." [Luxist via Uptown Flavor]

Newfangled Toilets Make Us Wonder What They'll Look Like When They're Oldfangled

Bushwick: All the 'swhik kids are chipping in to help Steve Trimboli, who runs local indie-rock mecca Goodbye Blue Monday, pay his mountain of post-cancer bills. That's nice. [VV]
Carroll Gardens: Who is trying to destroy the hood's "Democracy Wall," where locals post anti-development propaganda? Could it be … Councilmember Bill DeBlasio? [Gowanus Lounge]
Flatiron: The new Cemusa toilet's going up in Madison Square Park! Weird to think that something so sleek will soon be crawling with germs. (Or are these things self-cleaning?) [Curbed, Promediacorp]

Gusto Now Going to Look and Taste Like Centro Vinoteca

Chelsea: It doesn’t look good for those who are just getting used to the belly; pig’s ears are the latest trend, and even the version at stellar tapas spot Tía Pol was described by Peter Meehan as "crunchy and sticky with a funky pigskin flavor." [Mouthing Off/Food & Wine] Financial District: Don’t forget, the trial run for the proposed year-round seasonal market at South Street Seaport starts on December 16 (and Molto Mario will be there). [Grub Street] Park Slope: Tempo Presto is closing this Friday because the restaurant can’t keep up with the pricey rent. [Gowanus Lounge] Upper West Side: Dovetail‘s opening next week. [Zagat] West Village: Sasha Muniak must feel really good about the Centro Vinoteca formula; after tapping chef Anne Burrell to take over for Amanda Freitag, he plans to redesign the Gusto space by next year with help from Centro Vinoteca and Jean Georges designer Thomas Juul-Hansen. [Restaurant Girl] Andrea Strong unveils renderings of Jason Neroni’s new gig, 10 Downing. [Strong Buzz via Eater] Magnolia Bakery will be open regular hours every day this holiday season except for Christmas, and from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on December 24, kids can pick up a cupcake that comes with a note to Santa. [Bottomless Dish/Citysearch] Williamsburg: A benefit party at Supreme Trading tomorrow night promises an open Bass Ale Beer bar from 7 to 8 p.m. and "one of the most difficult cuisines to find in New York City: Rwandan." [Cakehead]

Urban Outfitters to Bring Freshman-Dorm Furniture to Cobble Hill

Cobble Hill: Urban Outfitters is "coming soon!" [BK11201] Downtown Brooklyn: After endless outrage, the city will spare the little Duffield Street house believed to have been a stop on the Underground Railroad. [DDDB via Gowanus Lounge] Financial District: Maybe, in time, all the pretty old buildings in Manhattan will be reduced, like this one, to Hollywood-set-style façades for the big new buildings behind them. [Curbed]

Coney Island: The New Blackpool, England?

Astoria: Everyone's all excited about this new apartment building, but doesn't it kind of look like a seventies computer or TV set? [OuterB] Brooklyn Heights: Now that Norman Mailer's dead, the hood's most famous resident could well be right-wing scribe Peggy Noonan. How depressing. [Brooklyn Heights Blog] Coney Island: If new visions for the amusement zone ever take hold, it may end up looking something like … Blackpool, England! Check out that twister coaster beside the tram. [Kinetic Carnival]

Should Stuyvesant Heights Secede?

Bushwick: This blogger hates on gritty Bed-Stuy, claiming that it's nothing compared to its slicker, 'shwick-er neighbor. That's harsh, but maybe he's right to suggest that pretty Stuy Heights secede from the rest of the hood. [BushwickBK] Chelsea: Even before 100 Eleventh Avenue developers could obscure Knox Martin's landmark mural next door, they've covered his signature with their ad. It's a proto-dis! [Chelsea Blog] Coney Island: An ice-skating rink at the base of the Wonder Wheel? That's bigger than Wollman? That's a summertime sailing pond? Yes, yes and yes! [NY1 via Only the Blog Knows Brooklyn]